Despite the fact that Tylenol (acetaminophen) is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States for treating fever and pain, the over-the-counter medication may be linked to an increased risk of life-threatening side effects, including liver failure, among patients. In fact, studies dating back to the 1990s have indicated that acetaminophen (Tylenol) use is a major factor in the risk of acute liver failure in the U.S., with up to half of cases caused by unintentional acetaminophen overdose. In addition, the FDA has reported that there is significant evidence suggesting that liver failure caused by Tylenol use may result from lack of consumer awareness about the link between acetaminophen overdose and serious liver injury. If you took Tylenol and have since experienced side effects of liver failure, contact a Tylenol attorney for legal help.
The real danger Tylenol users face is the fact that acute liver failure can result from a one-time unintentional acetaminophen overdose, with side effects occurring in as little as 48 hours. Even more alarming, studies have shown that even healthy adults taking Tylenol as recommended may be at risk of suffering from Tylenol liver failure side effects, due to the allegedly harmful nature of acetaminophen. In light of this side effect risk, the FDA advised manufacturers of acetaminophen products in January 2011 to limit the maximum amount of acetaminophen in their products to 325 mg per tablet or capsule. In July 2011, the agency required Johnson & Johnson in particular to reduce the maximum daily recommended dose of Tylenol from 4,000 mg to 3,000 mg, in an effort to reduce the risk of liver injury caused by Tylenol overdose.
From 1998 to 2003, acetaminophen overdose was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, with 48% of instances caused by unintentional overdose. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of Tylenol overdose often resemble symptoms of the flu, which sometimes makes the condition difficult to diagnose. Once overdose symptoms begin to subside, liver damage will occur, a condition accompanied by severe side effects and sometimes requiring a liver transplant for survival. Because Tylenol overdose and liver failure can occur in as little as 48 hours, even consumers who have been taking Tylenol for a long period of time without any adverse side effects may still be at risk of suffering from acetaminophen overdose or liver failure.
Because Tylenol is so widely used and is available without a prescription, many consumers assume that the pain reliever is safe to take and has no risk of side effects. Unfortunately, the liver failure side effects linked to Tylenol are so prominent that a Journal of the American Medical Association study found that even healthy individuals taking maximum recommended doses of Tylenol for only two weeks had abnormal liver test results. If you or a loved one has suffered from liver damage or liver failure and you believe a Tylenol overdose to be the cause, contact a Tylenol attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Tylenol lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Tylenol attorneys are experienced in defective drug litigation and can help you collect the reimbursement you deserve.